How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need?

If you’re a new dog owner you may be wondering how much exercise your dog needs and how long or how often you should walk your dog?

Firstly, if you have a puppy make sure they are fully vaccinated before taking them out on walks. However it’s also vital in the first 5-12 week period of their life to socialise them with as many

Well-mannered  dogs, pets and people as possible so be sure to have as many people over as you can and go to as many friends as possible.

Puppies bones are not fully formed until 18 months of age and so over exerting them during this period can cause long term damage but trust your instincts and if your dog is telling you they’re tired then bring the walk to an end. I know I found it very hard to get the right information with my own dog as he has so much energy and was happy running for over 2 hours at 6 months old, but if you’re at all unsure then consult your vet.

The length of walk your dog needs will depend predominantly on their age and breed.

Dogs with short faces can be prone to respiratory problems so two shorter walks a day which don’t exert them too much are better than one full hike. A Chihuahua for example might only need to be walked once a day but a boxer is happier with two walks per day.

Lab’s, springer spaniels, dalmatians, border collies and most terriers for example will happily be able to cover 5-10 miles (and more) in a day.

As a general rule, most dogs need a 60 minute walk every day just to get by.

It’s important to remember that very often it’s not the length of walk but how interesting it is for them. Smarter dogs need the mental stimulation of other dogs, game playing and smells. For all dogs simply being let into the back yard for a run around is not enough and no substitute for running in the park and playing with other dogs. A good walk will keep both you and your dog in great shape, mentally, and physically, but if you’re unable to walk him then please don’t assume because he sleeps all day that he’s OK that way. After all, if you had nothing else to do you’d probably sleep, but a well exercised and stimulated dog is a happy dog.

Exercise does more than anything to improve a dog’s behaviour. When Roddy has had enough exercise, he’s content to lie around the house and relax and he doesn’t feel the need to follow me or our cats around the house!

One of the best, most caring things you can do for your dog is give it enough exercise.

For more details on my dog walking services in Thirsk, Northallerton and surrounding areas call me on 0797 2581530.